Northern Wisconsin Fishing Report – May 1st, 2015

This report is about the Ashland side of Chequamegon Bay. The ice has left the bay and open-water fishing has begun. A lot of people have been out on the water, pulling in trout and salmon. All the way from Bono Creek north, they’ve been getting browns and cohos. They might find some at the head of the bay, as well. People have been trolling for walleyes on the east end of town over the weedbeds, and many anglers are now flat-lining with crankbaits.
A good rain came through recently and pushed up the flows of the Brule River and other South Shore tributaries. The Brule was running pretty off-colored after the rain, but it should be coming into shape nicely now. The rains are welcomed, and should bring in a nice push of fresh fish. With the higher water, fish with darker bugs and go up in size in egg patterns.
Anglers can find fish from Hwy. 2 all the way to the lake, and there are fish entering other South Shore and Chequamegon Bay rivers, as well.
    Angler’s All, (715) 682-5754.
    River Rock, (715) 682-3232.

Unlike the past two years, anglers will not have to bring their tip-ups along for the fishing opener, which arrives May 2 this year. All of the lakes are open. The water had been warming up nicely until last week’s cold front came in and settled over the area for about four days. Prior to that, many of the smaller and medium-sized lakes were in the 50s, and anglers were finding panfish in the shallows. Much of the walleye spawn has been completed on those smaller lakes. Walleyes were still spawning last week on the larger lakes. Things should be looking good by the time the opener gets here. The walleyes will still be near their spawning areas, and the panfish should also be hanging around the shallows.
    Northern Highland Sports Shop, (715) 385-2134.

With the ice off all but a very few lakes as of last week, we’re now starting to fish for panfish in anticipation of the opener for walleyes. It has been a good start, with the perch right on the shorelines as predicted. They’ll be spawning for the next week or so, depending on the weather. It is hard to predict what this cold front is going to do to the fishing. What a difference from last year at this time! Rain helped a lot as far as conditions go, as we had less snow melt than last year.
We’re looking forward to a more normal fishing year than last year, and feel that we’re almost a month ahead of last year, as far as water temps and the general melt. Get your yard work done – it’ll be a good opener.
Perch are right on the shorelines and can be caught in good numbers right now. Guys have been doing very well with worms and with minnows. A good hint is that fatheads produce bigger fish in general than crappie minnows. You’re looking at only 2 to 4 feet of water for most fish – and look for stumps, brush, and downed trees to hold the most fish. This is great fishing and will only last for a while, so get out there now while the getting is good.
The crappies are staging for spawning – at least they were until the colder weather hit the area. This cold front might push these crappies out to slightly deeper water until it warms again. Crappies are sensitive to water temps, and with repeated cold fronts they’ll not even spawn if they persist.
    Eagle Sports Center, (715) 479-8804.

Lakes in the Hayward area are open and free of ice, fish are moving, water temperatures are rising, and following two years of “ice fishing” openers, we will enjoy a more traditional game fish opener. Early season trout anglers are doing well, and panfish action is improving on most water. Prepare for the opener now. Are you ready for it? Purchased your new license? Checked for new regulations on the waters you intend to fish? Reels in good working condition and spooled with new line? Tackle boxes in some semblance of order? Boat and trailer serviced and ready to go? Take some time to get ready now so one or two small, overlooked items do not set you back opening day! Anglers planning to fish the Chippewa Flowage opening weekend can track the water level on the Xcel Energy website.
Hayward Bait, (715) 634-2921.
Hayward Lakes Visitor and Convention Bureau, (800) 724-2992.

Some bluegills and crappies are being caught in less than 2 feet of water on Lake Noqubey on days with little wind and sunny skies. High Falls and Cauldron Falls flowages continue to offer a slow bite for panfish.
Hook, Line and Sinker, (715) 854-2073.

A week-plus of June-like daytime temps in April took care of all ice. Many smaller lakes had temps shoot up so quickly the walleyes finished up spawning.
Last weekend we saw temps back down into April reality, but with many lakes in the high 40s already, spawning should continue, just not as quickly. With the warm temps of last week, crappies got actively feeding. Anglers found live bait to be the best in the form of minnows and wax worms. On warm, sunny days, crappies and bluegills move up to shallow flats to gather warmth. Bluegills are being caught on worms and waxies.
    Island Sport Shop, (715) 356-4797.
J & J Sports, (715) 277-2616.

A cold front has dropped the water temps. While the water temps were up, guys were catching a lot of panfish in the shallows. Walleyes are done spawning.
    Bridge Bait & Tackle, Park Falls, (715) 762-4108.
    Ross’s Sport Shop, Phillips, (715) 339-3625.

Anglers are out in force looking for panfish. The best action has been for crappies on Big Clam Lake. There was even a lot of interest in sucker fishing last week. One local team caught more than 300 pounds of suckers to win a tournament. Turkey hunters have also been doing well in the area.
    Big Mike’s Outdoor Sports, (715) 349-2400.
    Fur, Fin and Feathers Sports, (715) 349-8445.

Categories: North (Central), Wisconsin Fishing Reports

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